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Event Space Opening at Pace Menlo Park

On Monday, we blogged about Pace Gallery’s new exhibit in Menlo Park, called Living Digital Space and Future Parks. We are so excited to share that they are now offering the gallery as an event space through July 1, and have chosen Amy Kaneko Events as the exclusive event planner.

Rental of the space will close the gallery to the public, allowing guests to privately view the individual rooms throughout the event. Two main event spaces, the Main Reception area and the Light Sculpture room can hold up to 150 guests, and some of the other spaces will be available for rental on a case-by-case basis.

We held our first private event in the space recently. It was a beautiful dinner for 30 guests. We created a square ring of tables with the Light Sculpture of Flames in the center – so every guest could view the artwork throughout the dinner. It was really such a unique experience!

Sharla Flock created the pretty centerpieces, which were delicate white flowers in a variety of bud vases. We also relied heavily on elegant candles for ambiance. One special touch was using clear ghost chairs for seating, which really played well off the thousands of LED crystals in the artwork.

Andrew Weeks was kind enough to take photos of the event.

Another room that is available for events is the Black Waves room. You can’t tell this in the photos, but that artwork of waves is actually very dynamic – the waves move and crash from panel to panel as if you are actually watching the ocean. A long dinner table for up to 30 guests fits perfectly in the space.

AKE_Pace_Events_14Photos courtesy of Vik Photography

Another room is called “Crows” and – as you can tell by the photos – it’s a pretty amazing space. The exhibit here is high-energy, with lots of changing scenery and projected videos so we foresee this space being perfect for dancing.

Photos courtesy of Vik Photography

And lastly, the kid’s building (called “Future Parks”) will be available for birthday parties as well. Honestly, if you had a birthday party in here, it would be epic. We wish we could be kids again just to go to a party in that building!

Photos courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography

Really, the possibilities for events are endless. If you wanted to do something large and spectacular (like the Opening Night parties we threw for Pace Gallery when the exhibit opened), it’s possible to put a tent up next to the building like the photo below.

The exhibit runs until July 1, so now is the time to come up with a good reason to throw a party!

Pace Gallery teamLab VIP Family Day

Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography

Pace Gallery’s teamLab Exhibit

We are so excited to share that Pace Gallery has returned to Menlo Park! We previously teamed up with the NY-based gallery on a series of Opening Night parties for 3 exhibits back in 2014.

They are back with an amazing exhibit by a talented Japanese art collective called teamLab. The exhibit is called Living Digital Space and Future Parks. There is also a building dedicated to kids called “Future Parks”. Honestly, this exhibit is OUT OF THIS WORLD. It is so mind-bendingly beautiful and unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

One of our favorite installations is called “Flowers and People” – you walk into a room where light projections of ethereal flowers cover the walls, ceiling, and floor. Flowers start blossoming around you the longer you stay in the room, but also wither if there are too many people there. Another installation is called “Crystal Universe” and you walk through a sea of suspended LED crystals as if you are in a galaxy of stars. In the kids’ building, you can color a sketch of a fish — and before you know it, the very fish you drew is swimming around in a huge virtual, interactive aquarium. It’s insane!

We’re not really doing it justice through words – you really need to see and experience it for yourselves. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

PS – They are going to offer the space for private events until July 1. We’ll be posting about that later this week!


Flower and Corpse Glitch (Photo courtesy of Andrew Weeks Photography)

Pace Gallery - teamLab VIP Party

Light Sculpture of Flames (Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography)


Flowers and People, Cannot Be Controlled But Live Together (Photo courtesy of Pace Gallery)

Pace Gallery teamLab VIP Family Day

Crystal Universe (Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography)


Cold Life (Photo courtesy of Vik Photography)

El Niño and the topic no one wants to think about: rain!

There’s been a lot of talk of El Niño and how this upcoming year is going to have unprecedented amounts of rainfall. Articles like this one pop up almost daily. We could certainly use some relief from the drought here in California.

But in the world of events, rain is hardly ever a good thing. It can bring a lot of anxiety if you’re having an outdoor event or wedding. Here are some of our tips on how to be prepared, hope for the best, and stay dry!


Do you have your heart set on an outdoor event? If so, keep the odds of beautiful weather in your favor and aim for a date in June through early October. You can never be 100% sure it won’t rain, but these months are the most likely to be dry ones. It’s also good to be aware of weather patterns in the specific microclimate of your venue – for example, even in the summer you might need a tent in San Francisco, whereas Wine Country will probably be very hot and dry.


If you need to choose a date outside of the dry season, then be sure to discuss rain at-length with any potential venues. Make sure you know what indoor spaces are available and how the flow would work for your guest count. We find that a lot of venues have an indoor space as a rain backup, but it’s often inadequate. For example, even if a room can hold 150 people for dinner, it doesn’t mean it can hold a 150-person wedding. You usually need a lot more space to accommodate all the different parts of a wedding: the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing.


Talk with your venue coordinator to see what they suggest. A lot of times they will have a wealth of knowledge about past experiences with rain. They can often show you a “rain floorplan”. They may also be able to help you with the logistics of installing a tent, such as restrictions on when and where the tent can be set up, the driest spot to set up a tent (since nobody wants a mud floor under their tent!), and so on.

Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz Planning by Rosemary Events   Tent from Zephyr Tents

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty | Photography: Lisa Lefkowitz | Planning: Rosemary Events | Tent: Zephyr Tents


To be safe, you will want to consider putting a tent on hold, which requires a deposit that is often non-refundable. You also want to get a quote for a tent in order to make sure the cost doesn’t come up as a last-minute surprise. Tents themselves aren’t horribly expensive, but it’s all the extras that can add up (ie, side walls, heating, and permits, not to mention a possible subfloor).


To be honest, if your venue doesn’t have a good indoor option and you are having an event during a potentially rainy month, then you really should rent a tent from the beginning. Tents can be gorgeous and they ensure that your guests will be warm and dry no matter what (even if it doesn’t rain, you’ll be protected from the wind and the cold). Planning for a tent also increases the likelihood that your design will be exactly as you want – no scrambling with last-minute changes and trying to make your Plan B as good as your Plan A. To get inspired, we recommend looking at the gorgeous sailcloth tents from Zephyr Tents.

Press: Featured Venues on PeerSpace

Are you ready for some more PeerSpace picks? I hope so. After seeing my last blog post, PeerSpace reached out to me and invited me to do a feature for them*. So here’s an article with my top picks around the Bay Area. My favorite is probably the “Industrial Chic Event Space”. Anyone want to do an intimate holiday dinner? 

See below for a preview, but click here for the full feature.

AKE - Peerspace Picks

*Ah, the beauty of the Internet.


We recently came across PeerSpace, an awesome source for finding independent event venues. It’s basically the Airbnb of the event world, and we can’t wait for the chance to test it out (for quality assurance purposes, only, of course).

Here in the Bay Area, there are a number of local spaces listed – everything from art studios to private estates, warehouses to secret gardens. There’s even a historic movie palace in Oakland available to rent.

While many of the spaces have a blank-slate feeling to them, others are decorated with eclectic décor & fun details. Some are geared toward a specific use (think corporate meetings or photo shoots), while others provide unique atmospheres for a variety of imaginative events.

Here are some of our top picks:

For an intimate rehearsal dinner in San Francisco, we love the combination of modern & industrial touches in this space.

The elegance of a ballroom in a historic San Francisco house? Sign us up!

We love this sweet countryside farmhouse in Sebastopol.

This green home on the Peninsula offers lawn space and a beautiful indoor/outdoor feeling.

Selecting a Photographer

We love these blog posts about photography by our good friend (and talented photographer) Gia Canali. We think they are excellent resources for when you’re trying to choose a photographer:

Interviewing Photographers: Why “How” Doesn’t Matter in Choosing a Wedding Photographer

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get (or Getting What You Expect) – Some Thoughts On Selecting a Wedding Photographer

Photo credit: Gia Canali

Photo credit: Gia Canali

Gia offers some wonderful suggestions on what’s truly important in your selection. Get to know your photographer, make sure your vision matches his or hers, and keep in mind that each photographer has a unique way that they see (and therefore, a unique way that they capture your event). As Gia explains, it’s not really the type of equipment they use – it’s how they use their artistic eye.

Organic Chuppah

One of the best feelings as an event planner is undoubtedly the moment of bringing our clients’ vision to fruition. After months spent discussing, designing, and confirming details, seeing it all come together is incredibly rewarding.

For this wedding, the couple was having their ceremony in a forest grove. We worked with Karen of Plan Décor to create a chuppah made of birch poles, gauzy fabric, and dramatically trailing greenery.

Rentals from Wine Country Party

Rental furniture for events has come a long way in the last few years. It used to be quite uninspired (ie, entirely corporate looking and so much unfortunate pleather!). But there’s a lot of great options nowadays.

We work with several rental companies around the Bay Area. One of our favorites is Wine Country Party & Events. Here are some great pieces from their catalog for weddings that we’ve picked out.


Cocktail Hour



We’ve been told that they are launching a showroom near San Francisco. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store!

Weeping Willow Invitations

We always put a lot of thought into the paper for events, and oftentimes make custom items for our clients. Here is an example from one recent wedding.

The weeping willows on the Meadowood golf course where the couple was having their ceremony provided inspiration for the save-the-dates and the invitations.

Here’s our original sketch of the weeping willows, which we refined until we got the perfect look.

For the save-the-dates, the card itself was fairly simple, but the envelope liner really stood out. We foil-stamped the weeping willows in shiny silver onto gray paper.

For the invitation, the weeping willow sketch was letterpressed into thick paper. We added a subtle wash of color so the pattern didn’t disappear entirely, but it was beautifully subtle. We again included the metallic liner to add a luxe element and create a cohesive invitation suite.

An Ode to Dahlias

The versatility of dahlias will never cease to impress us. They range in size from petite pompom dahlias, which have a modern sculptural look, to enormous dinnerplate dahlias, which look incredibly soft and romantic. We love them all, but if we had to choose a favorite we’d pick the “café au lait” dahlia (and not just because it has the most delicious-sounding name). It’s a stunning flower with the most beautiful subtle color. Our friend Shaelyn Hesch from Fig & Twine says that dahlias are typically in season from late spring through mid-fall, so they’ve got great availability for most weddings. They also happen to be the official flower of San Francisco — who knew? Join us in admiring some of our very favorite combinations:

Cafe au Lait Dahlia Event design: Amy Kaneko EventsFlorals: Natalie Bowen DesignsPhoto credit: Gia Canali

Cafe au lait dahlia
Event design: Amy Kaneko Events
Florals: Natalie Bowen Designs
Photo credit: Gia Canali

Event design: Amy Kaneko EventsFlorals: Valley FloraPhoto credit: Adrienne Gunde

Event design: Amy Kaneko Events
Florals: Valley Flora
Photo credit: Adrienne Gunde

Event design: Amy Kaneko EventsFlorals: Natalie Bowen DesignsPhoto credit: Gia Canali

Event design: Amy Kaneko Events
Florals: Natalie Bowen Designs
Photo credit: Gia Canali

Event design: Amy Kaneko EventsFlorals: Plan DecorPhoto credit: Gia Canali

Event design: Amy Kaneko Events
Florals: Plan Decor
Photo credit: Gia Canali

Event design: Amy Kaneko EventsFlorals: Natalie Bowen DesignsPhoto credit: Delbarr Moradi

Event design: Amy Kaneko Events
Florals: Natalie Bowen Designs
Photo credit: Delbarr Moradi